Configurations of Rotary-Wing (Helicopter) Aircraft

Updated: Sep 18, 2020


An autogyro is an aircraft with a free-spinning horizontal rotor that turns due to passage of air upward through the rotor. This air motion is created from forward motion of the aircraft resulting from either a tractor or pusher configured engine/propeller design.

Single Rotor Helicopter

An aircraft with a single horizontal main rotor that provides both lift and direction of travel is a single rotor helicopter. A secondary rotor mounted vertically on the tail counteracts the rotational force (torque) of the main rotor to correct yaw of the fuselage.

Dual Rotor Helicopter

An aircraft with two horizontal rotors that provide both the lift and directional control is a dual rotor helicopter. The rotors are counterrotating to balance the aerodynamic torque and eliminate the need for a separate antitorque system

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